Aren’t we alone?

Yoru

Aren’t we alone?

Aren’t we alone when we run behind the doors, catching breaths we couldn’t take a minute before? When we come back from a meeting where everyone thought things were alright and yet we still had that suffocating pain in our throats because we felt like crying but couldn’t? Can we be safe to feel whatever we might feel? Would it stand in the way of our collective objectives and deadlines? Aren’t we alone when we can’t allow ourselves the time to shake off our personal burdens because bigger issues have to be prioritized?

Aren’t we alone when we get old and find ourselves in need of other’s assistance regardless of our researches, publications, achievements and of how many people we marked? Aren’t we alone if we fear that one can steal someone else’s work and appropriate it? Aren’t we alone if our efforts and work can go easily unnoticed and redirected towards another end? Aren’t we alone when we work without credits from our own people? And if we have been bitten by the same spider twice in the same place and still have to sleep beside it because of the movement?

Aren’t we alone if we need to hide some opinions because there won’t be a way to discuss them openly enough or time to allow them to transform organically into harmony? Aren’t we alone wondering how to face others with this un-feminist thought we’re stuck with? Aren’t we alone if we have to think about the validity of our thoughts and feelings in a feminist discussion?

We are alone, my friend. We are alone because our interactions are calculated and measured by external criteria and priorities that aren’t ours only. Where did we lose the people and how can we weave sustainable roots to harmonize the personal with the collective?

I now understand why people behave better in great distress than they do in times of rest; it’s because they have nothing to protect. Aren’t we missing the point if we wait for great distress to step over obstacles we sneaked around before? And is it by losing the cautiousness that we offer the best solidarity?

Where does the “I” go?

Ain’t I alone when I have to deny my own hurt for the sake of the bigger goal?

Ain’t I alone when I just want to burst but hold my breath not to afford a collective misinterpretation or misunderstanding?

Ain’t I alone when i have to be on guard while talking to peers with the same principles and objectives I have?

Ain’t I alone when others judge my stand points and forget the story behind them? Ain’t I alone in the fears and worries that lead me to where I stand now?

I am alone because I am distant and because distances are hard to travel. The shortest distances seem the least necessary to be crossed and places seem too familiar that we forget to look closely at them with time.  

We are alone when feminism happens only in and for the public. When people say: “you never show up” instead of “you are missed” or “are you ok?”

We are alone when we only exist as a feminist production machine. What happens when we shut down? When we – just as any human – decide to rest or just can’t go on doing whatever we are doing? What happens to the load of responsibility and the guilt related to all those who walked before us? The pressure not to let them down or put their enormous struggles to rest… what happens to the constant reminder that things are not easy and never were?

Why would I be tired if all these women who have been in greater struggles, and still are, just kept and keep going? How can I validate my rest? And who would wait for it? Will the movement wait? Will it wait for me? Do I want the movement to wait for me or do I prefer it just keeps going without me being in the way?

In the layer between us and ourselves, there is always this alone-ness; sometimes it draws us back and sometimes it keeps us sane.

We are alone and that’s fine.

Sometimes we need to stay on our couches and watch the sun rise and set. We need to be kind to ourselves even when the movement requires constant confrontations. We are already faced with obligatory confrontations every day and without the least consideration to how we were doing in our heads and hearts before them. Do we need to replicate within ourselves the crushing load we receive from daily struggles? Do we really need to push ourselves further when we need to breathe instead? The movement can’t wait but what is a movement that can’t go on without us? And what about the women who do not contribute to it? Are they excluded because they couldn’t find a way to hop in?

Feminism is not a job, nor a membership hub. It is not deactivated when you get lazy or can’t get hold of things in your life. It is only put in question when you are not considerate to others around you in the same fight. We should only be accountable when we contribute to someone’s injustice, otherwise, we are contained and fine within the safe arms of the movement we believe in.

We are alone, with no guilt or pressure and the hope is to build a movement that is fine before and after us, inside and outside and all around, a movement that thinks about each one of us but not about one of us, a movement that knows how we are and surrounds us when we need, a movement that is safe for everyone, anytime.

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